How to Go Green on a Budget

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Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by Images_of_Money via Flickr.

Green technologies usually require a certain amount of investment especially when the desired benefit is large scale (think electric cars or home solar panel installations). However, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to start caring for the environment. All you need are some great ideas to be inspired on how to go green on a budget.

Bike More, Drive Less

The rising costs of energy combined with traffic congestion can mean problems for car owners around the world. If you have a car and you’re on a budget, you need to drive your car less to save on gas expenses. A recent study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has shown that walking, biking, or taking public transport can save a single commuter thousands of dollars a year by not driving. You can take a walk when going shopping or running errands if your destination is just a couple of blocks away. If downtown is a little farther from your neighborhood, take your bicycle instead. It’s a good way to exercise those leg muscles while avoiding traffic.

If you have neighbors who go to work in your building or area, you might want to try carpooling to save money. Less cars on the road means less air pollution. Carpooling and biking can reduce the consumption of fuel thereby supporting cleaner air. Walking or biking activities are also considered great forms of exercise.

Conserve Electricity with Energy Efficient Bulbs

The greatest cost in most homes and offices is electricity. One of the strategies to go green at work is to install energy efficient light bulbs. They usually last longer than ordinary bulbs. CFL and LED bulbs alike are built to consume energy efficiently. Installing efficient bulbs also helps your home or company save money in the long-term.

If you are a business owner and you want to go green on a budget, tell your employees to do their part as well. Employees should be reminded to unplug electronic devices especially when they leave for the day. If appliances are left plugged in, they can slowly drain power due to vampire energy. Wasteful energy consumption is costly to the environment. This includes air conditioners, cash registers, printers and photocopiers.

Buy Organic Food

If you think all organic food is expensive, think again. Purchasing organic food can have a significant positive impact to the environment. Organic food is grown naturally without the use of fertilizers and pesticides that gradually harm the soil. Not all kinds of organic foods are expensive. If you want to go green on a budget, check out supermarkets offering organic food at sale prices. When organic food is on sale, there’s not much difference between the price of conventional food. Also be sure to know what produce is in-season because in-season produce (usually local) is often cheaper than organic produce shipped from thousands of miles away.

Reuse and Recycle

Do you still have those gift wrappers from last season’s holidays? If they are still in good condition, you can reuse them to wrap presents for this year’s festivities. Save the milk bottles and cartons for recycling projects. You can make pen holders and coin banks out of milk bottles. Turn those cardboard boxes into magazine or file folders. The possibilities for recycling are endless. All you need is your imagination and your budget can go a long way.

To get more re-using in your normal routine…try to buy from thrift stores more often. So many things that we buy new could have been bought from a thrift store and reduced waste. The benefits of thrift store shopping are numerous but they mainly help reduce waste, save you money, and that helps the environment.

About John Tarantino (325 Posts)

My name is John Tarantino ... and no, I am not related to Quinton Tarantino the movie director. I love writing about the environment, traveling, and capturing the world with my Lens as an amateur photographer. You can connect with me via Google+ or via Twitter: Follow @EnvironmentBlog

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